San Francisco Bay Area Snuff Bottle Collectors Meeting
San Francisco Bay Area Snuff Bottle Collectors
Seventeen members of our local group met on January 27, 2019 for lunch to celebrate our 39th Anniversary at the Hong Kong Flower Lounge in Millbrae. Al Zheng and Raymond Lum, both members of our group, underwrote and selected a splendid luncheon of exquisite dim sum and New Year’s specialties for our enjoyment.
Our topic for discussion was snuff bottles of non-Chinese fabrication. Of course, the Chinese invented snuff bottles to hold powdered tobacco, which they and most of the world at that time considered a medicine.
Since China was the dominant force in Asia in the 17th and 18th centuries, the addiction to snuff spread to adjoining areas including Manchuria, Mongolia and Tibet. Each of these areas produced unique snuff bottles to their taste.
Later, the Japanese, who never embraced snuff, but who always embraced and gave respect to Chinese arts and crafts, began to make snuff bottles for the Chinese collectors’ market and later for the entire world collectors’ market.
The Siamese, who imported Chinese ceramics made to their taste, bencharong, likewise acquired the snuff habit and began making their own unique snuff bottles.
Members shared Mongolian, Tibetan, Thai and Japanese snuff bottles from their collections for all to enjoy.
Our next event will be a lecture by Dr. Nancy Berliner on March 28, 2019.